My Mission, My Job: Respect for students

Published: Monday 30th November 2015

Student Enrichment Advisor David Hughes provides students with opportunities to engage with programs, activities, and events that give colour to their university life. And he uses ACU’s Mission to guide him in his work.

“On any given week this can mean anything from guitar lessons to finance seminars, oratory competitions to blanket forts, mental health awareness days to petting zoos,” David said.

David said he applies ACU’s Mission to his daily work life, particularly as it relates to the “dignity of the human person and the common good”.

“My role is deeply relational since it seeks to assist people, in various ways, in finding a deep and enriching meaning through their tertiary education experience,” he said.

“As such, it is crucial to establish trust and encounter students without fear, or judgement, but with enthusiasm and confidence.

“I must fulfil my role in a way that is inclusive and relevant, so that I can be a source of positivity to all.

“By doing so, I am active in showing the Mission of the University, particularly as it encourages the “dignity of the human person and the common good”, in a very real, visible and grounded way.”

David began life with ACU as a theology student on the Canberra campus in 2011 and said it was a wonderful experience and a terrific introduction to the University.

For the second half of 2013 he became the Acting Marketing Coordinator for the Canberra Campus and although it was only for six months, it was a crash-course in ACU Mission, culture, and identity.

He presented at numerous schools both in the ACT and in regional NSW, and oversaw the 2013 Open Day.

During 2014 David became the PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) Coordinator for the Canberra Campus in which students helped other students with challenging subjects.

“This was an entirely new program for the campus which, as a co-curricular program, saw an increase in students passing units of study, and contributed to an increase in average marks for participating students,” he said.

While he was finishing his theology honours thesis, which he would eventually receive First Class Honours, he successfully applied to become the new Student Enrichment Advisor at the beginning of 2015.

“This role has been an exciting challenge and demands constant creativity, engagement and flexibility,” he said.

“Fulfilling this role on the Canberra Campus means that there is a significant amount of collaboration between departments in providing the best possible opportunities for our student cohort.

“By developing these relationships, we develop a university community and culture that is inclusive, collaborative, and engaged.”